Tokyo-based startup HW Electro has unveiled Puzzle, their concept for an electric Kei van.
The tiny, rectilinear vehicle is just over 11' long and just under 5' wide. Intended for both mobile vending and disaster relief, it features sockets, USB ports, a WiFi transmitter and a first aid kit behind the front panels.
The charging will reportedly be augmented by solar panels.
As you can see by the color-coding below, a number of the panels are interchangeable, to keep production costs down.
"PUZZLE is a product that has been thoroughly streamlined to give form to its functions. That design philosophy is clearly reflected in the exterior. For example, the panel under the front light and the front edge of the roof, or the left front door and right rear door, are made of the same exterior panel. By standardizing every detail and using compatible common panels in various locations, we have eliminated waste during manufacturing and increased productivity. Rational design optimizes all resources during manufacturing. Funds obtained by reducing hardware costs will be used to develop software and connected services."
The rectilinear shape is to maximize interior storage space.
"PUZZLE prioritizes convenience as a transport vehicle, and has been designed to minimize wasted luggage space. Its appearance, which looks more square than a typical small van, is the result of an almost cubic cargo space that makes full use of the given size. Up until now, the luggage space of typical one-box cars has often narrowed towards the roof, making it often impossible to use every inch of the space originally provided."
I'm digging the Spartan interior, particularly that sliding shifter.
Also note the pegboard-like arrangement.
"The user-friendly interior layout differs from user to user. PUZZLE's interior panels are made into pinboards, allowing you to flexibly arrange various interior parts as if you were arranging your own room. Even if one unit is used by multiple users, you can easily attach and remove the necessary kits wherever you like. Each driver can drive with the interior of their choice."
While the company claims the Puzzle will be available in the 'States in 2025, they've got a long way to go: "Plans are underway," they write, "for a mass-produced model based on the concept car." Unsurprisingly, no prices have been announced.
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